Krzysztof Drynda, Chairman of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. Photo: Julita Ledzinska/press materials
First and foremost, we should mention human capital. The education system is multi-faceted, taking place both at prestigious universities and a professional level. It often occurs in consultation and cooperation with business, so that employees at all levels can take on their professional roles as early as possible, and the programme is adapted to current challenges. Highly specialised workers in sectors related to advanced technology, such as new mobility, electronics, medtech and ICT sectors are particularly in demand. There are also less obvious sectors that are equally attractive to investors, such as offshore wind energy or nuclear energy, for which the winds in Poland have recently been favourable, and completely niche sectors, such as the production of yachts and boats. It is in these industries that Poland tries to attract investors.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the involvement of foreign investors in the development of the service sector in Poland (both outsourcing of services such as accounting or legal services, as well as innovative activities). This creates the potential for acquiring the necessary know-how, as well as participating in the creation of new solutions. A large percentage of qualified and educated citizens and high readiness on the part of employees to adapt new solutions make Poland an ideal location for activities that require the involvement of specialists, but on much more favourable terms than in Western European countries.
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Pro-investment system solutions are in place, inter alia, in the form of special economic zones or tax breaks, and the history of Poland’s stable economic development in recent years is clearly illustrated in figures: average GDP growth in 2009-2019 was 3.6%. Poland has also gained high marks among agencies such as Fitch, Moody’s and S&P. As the sixth largest economy in the EU in terms of GDP, Poland is additionally distinguished by its strategic location on the map of Europe. Moreover, Poland is a market with over 38 million people generating high domestic demand. At the same time, as a participant in the single European market, it has access to the EU market of over 500 million potential customers. All this translates into a strong position for the country as a beneficiary of the nearshoring process, i.e. relocating production plants from, for example, Asian countries to closer regions. Thanks to investment-friendly legislation, procedures and start-up processes are smooth. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) works with investors and provides appropriate support throughout the entire process.
In 2020, according to UNCTAD data, declining trends in foreign investment inflows were recorded worldwide. Year on year, in global terms, FDI shrank by 42%, reaching a total of USD 895 billion. This negative trend has affected, among others, Germany, France, Brazil and the US. Although in many countries the worst-case scenario of delaying or postponing investments as a result of the crisis has materialised, in Poland the data on FDI looks promising. The Polish economy has a diversified character, which also extends to branches of the national economy. This ensures high resistance to objective challenges such as a pandemic, creates good access to a wide range of subcontractors, and also facilitates flexible creation and development of the field of activity. This renders Poland’s economy highly resistant to economic shocks, as demonstrated by slowdowns in the global economy in recent years. Poland was among the countries that remained on the growth path or which limited their production activity to the lowest extent.
It seems that workforce shortages may be the greatest challenge for new investments in Poland in the coming years. However, the geographic location of our country, which is attractive for citizens of Eastern Europe, offsets that challenge. There are also programmes encouraging the relocation of employees to Poland and a very popular educational offer. Poland also meets the expectations of investors from countries in a difficult political situation. Successful programmes help IT specialists, start-ups and other companies from across the eastern border of the country to relocate seamlessly to the Republic of Poland.
Poland’s pro-investment attitude is noticed and valued by foreign business, thanks to which record values of investments have been reported in Poland for many years. Most importantly, everything indicates that they will continue to grow.
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